Mogadishu, 18 September 2014 – This morning, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Somalia facilitated a demonstration in ‘Weapons Cutting’, held by the Somali Police Force (SPF) in Mogadishu.
In response to a direct request from the Federal Government, UNMAS Somalia has completed training for two officers to support efforts to improve transparency on the management of weapons. A pilot training course took place between the 14th and 17th September 2014, training officers on how to safely destroy obsolete small arms and light weapons. This was a new step in a longstanding partnership between the SPF and UNMAS focused on strengthening the capacity of the SFP to safely deal with explosive hazards.
Somalia remains a widely armed society after years of civil conflict, with unknown quantities of illicit weapons extensively available. The Somali police have already seized large quantities of weapons and ammunition across the country, which are now waiting to be destroyed.
The Deputy Director of Somali Police Logistics, Col. Mohamed Muktar Ahmed opened the event alongside Elena Rice, UNMAS Somalia Head of Programme Unit.
“We are very pleased to announce the first, certified weapons disposal team in the country”, says Col. Muktar Ahmed. “With the support of UNMAS, we hope to have more teams trained and deployed across all regions of Somalia”, he said.
In celebration of this year’s International Day of Peace, marked on 21st September, the Somali Police will destroy 189 obsolete weapons collected during the course of this week; a move aimed at improving safety and security within communities.
“What could be more important for peace than destroying weapons captured from those who would seek harm to the Somali people. UNMAS congratulates the SPF team on successful completion of training, and looks forward to continuing our support towards a Somalia free from the threat of explosive hazards and dangerous weapons”, said Ms. Rice.
For further information contact: Hodo Dahir